You must have heard and seen many types of supplements, and they come in variations as advertised in many TV commercials and on social media. They come in tablets, capsules, and even shakes. And most of the users of these supplements are athletes, weightlifters, bodybuilders, and gym enthusiasts. That’s why it’s not surprising anymore if you have already heard the term “creatine supplements.”
Creatine supplements are now the new gem in food supplements that can boost and activate a person’s physical system. But it’s not only that; creatine supplements also work for our brain. More of that and other information related to how creatine supplement works and our body can benefit from it.
Natural Sources of Creatine
Let’s start first by understanding where you can get creatine. You should know that creatine is a chemical found in our body, most prominently in our muscles, but our brain also has it. Creatine can be found in most natural sources like in food- red meat and seafood contains creatine. Artificial creatine is being created in laboratories- that’s where creatine supplements are being made. Taking the best supplement can work wonders for your workouts and can be a huge help in reaching your goals.
But did you know that our body can create creatine as well? A person’s body liver, pancreas, and kidneys can naturally produce 1 gram of creatine per day. That naturally made creatine is being stored in your muscles, and it’s being used when you perform regular exercise, do some sports, and other physical activities.
The Role of Creatine in Energy Production
Since a person’s body can naturally produce creatine, when we exert too much effort, we spend more energy- the quicker we get tired, we can perform less. For a regular person who has a typical routine such as going to work, tending the house, and spending some leisure, the naturally produced creatine is sufficient to activate them. They spend the right amount of energy with their body’s creatine level.
But that’s not the case for individuals with an active lifestyle, most especially with athletes. These types of individuals spend more creatine than their bodies can naturally reproduce, and that’s where creatine supplements aid in their body’s energy production.
Scientifically speaking, we have taught that carbohydrates, fats, and protein are macronutrients converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the body’s primary energy source. However, muscle stores a minimal count of ATP, which requires that cells have a means of producing more. This is where phosphocreatine (PC) comes into play. When a person has a daily intake of creatine supplements, the creatine partnered with ATP, creating ATP-PC.
When a person performs an exercise, a breakdown of ATP happens, releasing the energy necessary for muscle contraction. With the ATP alone, the body requires a more extended recovery period as the glycolytic and oxidative pathways system needs more time to circulate. But with the ATP-PC system, the body may still not rapidly supply energy, but it would take a lesser recovery period (approximately 10 seconds of rest).
Benefits of Creatine Supplements
The primary benefits that a person can take advantage of in taking creatine supplements are improved athletic performance and increase muscle mass. These benefits might not be befitting for everyone, but for athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and active sports, this is highly beneficial.
Here are the other benefits of orally taking creatine supplements:
- Creatine can provide athletes that need short bursts of speed or increased muscle strength. Sprinters highly benefit from it, which requires constant running like basketball, football, and soccer.
- For bodybuilders and weightlifters who require large bone mineral density, muscle strength, and muscle mass, creatine supplementation plus resistance training can make it happen.
- In sports requiring robust and high-intensity training exercises, creatine supplementation can improve total performance and increase strength and endurance.
- When it comes to muscle recovery, some studies show creatine supplementation helps the patient gain progress faster as they are not in the recovery phase for long.
Related Health Risk In Creatine Supplementation
Like any other supplements, creatine supplements also have their fair share when it comes to side effects and drawbacks. The most common one is that stomach cramps can occur when taken with less water. For some cases, taking too much creatine more than the specified dosage for one cycle might lead to diarrhea and nausea issues.
There are no apparent negative drawbacks or health risks in taking a creatine supplement orally. However, there’s a high possibility for a person to gain weight as there is high water retention. So, if you don’t want to gain more weight than you want, perform regular and light exercise every day.
Creatine supplements are beneficial for every individual whether they are into high-intensity sports or just want to boost their physical abilities. Also, creatine supplementation aids not only in strengthening but also with the recovery phase. Furthermore, it doesn’t pose any health risk that you should be alarmed with. If you’re thinking of taking in creatine supplements, there’s a lot of it available in the market; just make sure you research and refer your choice to a licensed physician if you’re unsure of it.